Teeth naturally decay over time and can easily get cracked. The best way to deal with cracked or decayed teeth is porcelain inlays and onlays. They are a better alternative to porcelain crowns as less of the tooth structure is removed during the procedure. They are very strong and durable. If fitted correctly, porcelain inlays and onlays can take 50-75% more chewing force. Another advantage is that porcelain inlays and onlays are the same color as your teeth, so it is hardly visible in your mouth.
What is the difference between an inlay and an onlay?
Inlays are done when the tooth structure replacement is done within the cusp tips of the tooth. Onlays are done when the damage to the tooth is more extensive, and the entire chewing area needs to be replaced.
What are porcelain inlays and onlays used for?
These highly durable porcelain inlays and onlays are used to fix:
- Broken or fractured teeth
- Cosmetic enhancement
- Decayed teeth
- Fractured fillings
- Large fillings
What does the procedure involve?
You will need to make two appointments to get an inlay or onlay. During the first appointment, your dentist will create accurate impressions of your tooth that will be used to shape your inlay or only. Your dentist will numb your tooth and remove any decay and fillings. Your tooth will be thoroughly cleaned and prepared. A temporary filling will be applied which will protect your tooth while your permanent inlay/onlay is being made by the dental ceramist.
During your second appointment, your new inlay/onlay will be carefully bonded into its correct position.
Benefits of porcelain inlays and onlays
Porcelain inlays and onlays have several benefits over resin fillings and crowns:
Easy cleaning: Dental onlays fit perfectly onto the tooth, and they are much easier to clean than a crown.
Color retention: Unlike a tooth-colored resin filling, porcelain inlays are less likely to discolor over time.
True Size: A composite filling sometimes shrinks while porcelain onlays will not.
Natural Tooth Preservation: With dental inlays and onlays, dentists can preserve a large amount of the original tooth structure while only restoring the damaged parts. Your tooth will last much longer with this strategy
Aesthetics: Porcelain onlays perfectly match the color of the existing tooth and looks very natural.
Strength and durability
Porcelain inlays are very strong and durable. They make the decayed tooth significantly stronger and last for a long time.